Sister of murdered soldier Lee Rigby to take on Great South Run in aid ofÂ veterans and terror attack victims
The sister of murdered soldier Lee Rigby is set to take on her longest ever running challengeÂ at the Simplyhealth Great South Run tomorrow to raise money for the foundation set up to support toÂ veterans and victims of British terror attacks.
Courtney Rigby, who is originally from Manchester but now livesÂ in Oakamoor in Staffordshire, was just 11 years old when her brother Lee was killed by Islamic terrorists inÂ 2013, outside his Woolwich barracks.
Fusilier Lee's tragic story shocked the nation and since then, his family have dedicated theirÂ time to launching the Lee Rigby Foundation, a charity which offers veterans and victims ofÂ terror attacks the use of a free countryside retreat.
Courtney, who also has three other sisters Sara, Chelsey and Amy, is studying for her A-levels and has a part-time job at Alton Towers, but still finds time to work for the foundation, keeping it up-to-date on social media.
The family is passionate about continuing to support those who suffer the loss of a servingÂ loved-one, after discovering there was little available for their mum Lyn and dad IanÂ following Lee's tragic murder.
The retreat, named Lee Rigby House opened in October 2017 in Staffordshire and Courtney,Â who is now 17, decided she wanted to set herself a fundraising challenge to support theÂ charity.
She has signed up to run 10 miles at the Simplyhealth Great South Run in Portsmouth onÂ Sunday, October 21 with a team of family friends who will all be raising money for the LeeÂ Rigby Foundation.
Courtney said: 'Lee was my big brother, I looked up to him more than anyone.
'He was my hero but was taken from us, on 22 May 2013 my world came crashing downÂ and everything changed for me.
'After Lee's death, we all struggled to return to normal life because of the huge amount ofÂ attention that was on us, combined with the uncontrollable grief that we faced.Â Going from having a brother who would do anything for you and was everything you hoped
to have to then having an empty space in your heart at just 11 years old was extremely hardÂ and something that will stay with me forever.
'˜When we were at home, we quickly realised there was not a lot of support for families likeÂ us and my mum struggled a lot.
'˜We decided to channel our efforts into setting something up to help people like us who may struggle and to use it as a way of keeping Lee's memory alive.
'˜The Foundation was made to give Lee the best legacy possible and I started to think ofÂ ways that I could continue to spread awareness about it, so I decided to sign up to theÂ Simplyhealth Great South Run.
'˜There's so many things in life that Lee won't be able to see me do but I am proud to beÂ running to support something in his name.'
Courtney will take on the 10-mile challenge along with charity supporters Marlene GodwinÂ and Kerry Page. The group has already raised over Â£1,000 for the Foundation.Â
The Simplyhealth Great South Run features 20,000 people taking making the event theirÂ greatest victory across a fast and flat course that is steeped in history.
Runners are granted special access to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and cross the finish lineÂ on the sea front overlooking the Solent.
The Rigby family are now in touch with many other families of victims who have feltÂ similarly isolated at a difficult time in their lives.
Courtney added: 'In losing Lee, I saw how some people who are close to the person getÂ forgotten. We as siblings had to cope with Lee's loss alone.
'We want to help people have a starting point for regaining their strength and perspectiveÂ or even just a small way to re-build their lives.
'My training has been going well, I have never taken part in an event of this distance beforeÂ so it will be a big challenge but I am really proud to be representing Lee and doingÂ something that I didn't think I'd be able to do.'
To support Courtney and the team's fundraising, visit:Â https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/courtney-rigby